For the longest time I would never completely relax my head when I was laying my head on Kenny. I’d have this crick in my neck because I was afraid my head was too heavy and if I really let go it would crush his rib cage or something.
This is not a small man we’re talking about. He climbs trees for a living and has the upper body strength to pull himself and a hundred pounds in rope and chainsaws up a tree.
But the full weight of my head was going to be the thing that finally did him in.😂😂😂
He would always say “ it’s okay, you can relax all the way”, but this rogue nerve in my neck was like, “No!”
This was highly symbolic.
It was my “I’m too much” belief meets my paralyzing fear of deeper intimacy. Not to mention the metaphor of the severely oppressive weight of me living in my head all the time. It didn’t matter that he was fully there, fully supporting me. I couldn’t allow myself to really let that in.
It was the last stand of my staunch independence. Somewhere inside me the independent stood with her fists balled in the air shouting “I can hold my own damn head up!”.
I thought that independence was healthy. But it wasn’t. At least not for me, not now. It served me for a time, but it was the embodiment of my belief that I don’t get to be, or feel, supported. And that I have to fight for what I need and want, or do it my-own-damn-self.
It was all right there in my neck.
Refusing to just relax and let the weight of that burden fall… and be HELD.
I so didn’t want to do that. My inner critic and independent didn’t anyway. Because god forbid I allow things to feel safe, and warm and easy. God forbid I allow myself to feel loved and supported as I am. “ I can’t have that! I’m a fighter, I need to fight! I need to be on guard and at the ready for pain and loss! This vulnerability will be the death of me, be gone weak woman, I don’t care that you’ve been in this loving relationship for 25 years, do NOT get cozy now! “
But the thing is I’m not a fighter.
I’m a Ferdinand.
I like to just sit quietly and smell the flowers.
If you’ve never read the book, let me explain: Ferdinand was raised to be a fighter, but he was not. He was a big powerful bull with a strong desire for joyful, grateful, ease. He preferred to sit in fields of wildflowers under his favorite tree, and feel the wind on his face. He was made for ease and joy, not forcing, fighting, proving or defending. Not head-butting with other bulls. There was nothing wrong with those ways… it just wasn’t his way.
And that’s me.
In the book the matador is looking for the strongest bull, and Ferdinand wants nothing to do with it. But he’s stung by a bee and it causes him to kick and snort and go crazy and react in all kinds of bullish ways.
We all have those bee’s. And we all know that sting. The past wounds that suddenly spring up and cause us to kick and scream and act in ways entirely not ourselves.
When the matador sees this, he chooses Ferdinand to come into the ring, thinking he will be the strongest fighter and therefor make the matador look the best.
We all have an ego like the matador. Wanting to poke and prod and ultimately slay that peace and ease-loving Ferdinand into a fight. So we can appear strong and totally on top of things, and in control, and the master of our game.
Ferdinand was again faced with the thing he was “supposed” to be out in that ring. The things he was supposed to do. To fight for glory and survival, or to die.
But no matter how they tried to provoke him, poking and prodding him in all the right places… he just sat down in the face of it, and smelled the flowers-the ones thrown right there in the middle of the ring.
He kept returning to who he really was-a soul whose rhythm is more like a gentle breeze. And the whole world bowed at his feet.
And he returned to the flowers and the trees.
This is the power of surrender to who you are. The power of loving your way in the face of all appearances. The bee stings might provoke you into the ring, but once you’re there, you get to choose how you want to live.
It doesn’t mean there’s not pain sometimes, it just means will you fight the pain or surrender it to the souls gentle breeze?
There are no wrong answers. The choice is entirely yours. But the answer to this question applies to your business, money, relationships and everything else you do.
Do you believe you have to fight to feel supported? That it has to be hard to live your own way? That you can’t not fight when everyone else is? That you have to push and pull to prove or earn your worth?
If you do, maybe now’s the time to question that.
Because your whole world could literally shift on its axis in that answer and your commitment to being more of who you really are.
These days when I feel the matador rising in my neck, wanting to poke and prod a love and support that I deserve to feel and let in all the way… I remember the flower loving Ferdinand I am, I feel for that gentle breeze on the hillside of my soul, and I relax.
Turns out the weight of my overstuffed cranium’s not enough to crush any rib cages. It was only ever enough to keep crushing my own heart. Crushing it by keeping at bay the things that I most love. In trying to avoid future pain, I created more of it for myself to live in, and blocked out the full gifts of the now.
As I continue to let that go, I keep finding out that I’m not “too much” after all. That I’m totally supported in all times and in all ways (even when it doesn’t feel like it). And that having this much love, ease and joy is simply who I am.
And that any degree of old pain, guilt or limitation about that that I am still carrying is just more work to do on my worthiness and level of allowing.
And that “work” is only ever really about connecting with the still quiet place within, and letting it have its way.
I am coming to trust it more than the antics of the mind. It’s a whole new world to live in.
I wish that for us all. It’s why I write and teach about all the things I write and teach about.
If you are reading this you are probably a fellow Ferdinand, longing to sit and smell the flowers of your life. And I want you to know you can absolutely have that.
Just keep following the calls of your heart.
P.S. And, as always, if you’d like to work with me on learning to follow your heart and create your life and business your own way, you can start with my free Make More, Doing Less Guide at sunnichapman.com/more
Originally published at https://sunnichapman.com on January 24, 2021.